Someone recently expressed a worry about being bored and unfulfilled at their job.
I’m look into my future and I see this: Grocery shopping. Cooking. Laundry. Cleaning. Things might vary day by day or week by week. I may dust one day, and vacuum the next day or throw caution to the winds and not dust. I may spice things up by watering the plants. I may really go crazy and purge/organize the pantry. I may even take a sick day and do nothing. But throughout the rest of my life, most days/weeks/months will be the same. Any or all of the above and that’s okay. That’s my job. I consider it to be needed and necessary. It’s just not very interesting. In fact, it’s BORING.
No matter how well or how poorly I do these things, I cannot get a raise. I cannot get a promotion. I cannot raise my financial standard of living (although I could ruin it by spending unwisely). I can get another job on top of all of this, but I cannot change the above. I am a housewife.
This is not a post about sharing housework. My husband does share in these things especially now that I am in school. At age 50-something, I went back to school to finish a degree I started over 30 years ago. He’s been great. I probably won’t use the degree for anything. I just wanted to finish it. I’ve been in and out of the industry in between times of taking care of my family for many years. This is not about that. This is not a post about gender differences or equality.
This is a post about quitting a job for very good reasons, but not getting a new one for very bad reasons. This is not about losing your job, becoming disabled, or being unable to find a new job. This is about choosing a start up company that hasn’t paid anything yet, months later. This is about not choosing an established company that would start paying right away, with benefits, insurance, vacation time. All because one is afraid of being bored.
Today, on this planet, an extremely large number of people have jobs that involved a lot of repetition. Jobs that some, most, or all of us may consider boring. And yet, these jobs continue to be done. They need to be done, because people need to support their families. The world-wide-whining about being fulfilled is insulting. I am grateful, grateful, for every person I encounter that is doing a job that a large chunk of the world looks down on. Think about every custodian you come across and thank them for taking care of you and giving you clean bathrooms. Thing about every person in the fast food drive through and thank them for feeding you that day. Think of every cashier/bagger and thank them, by name, for helping you get groceries to your family that day.
If you manage to find a job that excites you and fulfills you, fabulous. I’m happy for you. If you manage to start up a company and be successful, great. I’m happy for you. But do so wisely. Don’t bring everyone down around you because you are worried about being bored.
The ability to find fulfillment in our jobs comes from within us. You can certainly change jobs, even though I can’t. You can move up, down, sideways, change companies. Any number of things. But quitting before replacing your job is irresponsible. You’re afraid that your boredom will becoming self-loathing and disgust? You are not above the 98% of the planet that is doing a job that you would find boring. Suck it up, pal, and get a hobby. Go back to school. Learn something new. Throw caution to the winds and vacuum instead of dusting first.
Just like a housewife.